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This week I’m reading a Richard Branson book, founder of Virgin Music and 400 other companies. In it, he talks about following rules. A bit of a maverick, he shares this story:
“I was walking to a meeting in London one day and saw a group of students walking to school in single file. At first they looked very normal in their perfectly pressed and matching uniforms. At second glance I noticed their ties had all been cut. Curious, I asked the teacher who was heading up the back of the line ‘What was with the ties?’ She told me the strict dress code required that all students wore ties, but nowhere in the dress code did it say how long they had to be. So snip! Snip! And the students were happier about having to wear them.’”
Are there rules that you follow to the letter and rules that you dismiss entirely? More obvious perhaps are the rules those you lead break repeatedly. Before you make a rule, see if you’d follow it yourself. Does it make sense? And ask yourself if you need that many rules to micromanage yours and their performance …or is the how not as important as the achievement of the outcome.
Also, be sure to download the one page worksheet to help you with today’s lesson.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!
Monica, the answer is “YES”. Great Leaders know when rules need to be made; when they need to be followed; and, when they must be broken in order foster creativity and resourcefulness.
As you state, the most important question the Great Leader should as is, “Would I apply this rule to myself and abide by it?” If the answer is yes, it may be a valid rule. If the answer is no, it creates a “do as I say and not as I do” scenario … not a good environment for either leader or follower.
“Well said Tom. Great insight and I agree. We are on the same leadership page.”